Sunday 17 December 2017

Sun and smiles for developer Michael Cotter's daughter

Michael Cotter beamed as he gave daughter Gena away in a lavish ceremony, writes Ronald Quinlan

PROUD AS PUNCH: Michael Cotter arrives with daughter Gena in a vintage car
PROUD AS PUNCH: Michael Cotter arrives with daughter Gena in a vintage car
Michael and wife Angela with guests outside the church
Economist Peter Bacon at the ceremony
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

HE'S one of Ireland's biggest surviving property developers, a renowned yachtsman and a vintage car lover to boot.

Yesterday however, Park Developments chief Michael Cotter put all those loves to one side for his daughter, Gena, as he gave away her hand in marriage to Brendan Byron at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Foxrock, south County Dublin.

Some 200 guests were in attendance for the church ceremony which was celebrated by the Reverend Canon Richard Byron, while more guests still were invited to a lavish soiree that followed at the Cotters' palatial family home on nearby Westminster Road.

Security was tight at both the church and reception with officers from Group 4 Security specially drafted in for the occasion to protect both venues from any uninvited guests.

Given the number of luxurious Mercedes, BMWs, Porsche Cayennes and Mini Coopers parked in the church car park, one could hardly have blamed Mr Cotter for being so protective of his daughter's wedding party and their valuable possessions.

The bride and groom were brought, according to tradition, to the church in separate cars and left just over an hour later as man and wife in a vintage Bentley limousine.

Two other vintage cars transported the bridesmaids and groomsmen to the reception.

Among the more interesting attendees at the lavish affair was the leading economist Peter Bacon.

Given his acknowledged reputation as the 'architect' of the State's so-called 'bad bank' Nama, one could only wonder what he might have found to talk to Michael Cotter about once all the wedding day pleasantries had been dispensed with.

Were the talk to turn to Mr Bacon's recently-published and highly-critical report on Nama's performance, though, Mr Cotter would be in all-too familiar territory, given his own company's experiences with Greystones Harbour.

Work on phase two of the town's new multimillion euro marina, in which Park Developments is involved in the Sispar consortium with Sisk, remains at a stubborn standstill while funding for its completion is awaited.

While Sispar had its loans transferred to Nama in 2010, it is understood that the loans associated with the development at Greystones harbour are being serviced in full and on time.

Park Developments, however, would still appear to be experiencing financial difficulties despite being able to service its debt obligations.

Indeed, in a Labour Court hearing late last year, the company said it had "very serious financial difficulties brought about due to the significant reduction in its business" and said it was "struggling to survive".

Sunday Independent

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